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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2740963, 11 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/2740963
Review Article

Adenosine Receptors as a Biological Pathway for the Anti-Inflammatory and Beneficial Effects of Low Frequency Low Energy Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields

1Department of Medical Sciences, Pharmacology Unit, University of Ferrara, Via Fossato di Mortara 17-19, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
2IGEA Biophysics Laboratory, Carpi, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Katia Varani; ti.efinu@krv

Received 20 October 2016; Accepted 12 January 2017; Published 1 February 2017

Academic Editor: Elaine Hatanaka

Copyright © 2017 Katia Varani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Several studies explored the biological effects of low frequency low energy pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) on human body reporting different functional changes. Much research activity has focused on the mechanisms of interaction between PEMFs and membrane receptors such as the involvement of adenosine receptors (ARs). In particular, PEMF exposure mediates a significant upregulation of and A3ARs expressed in various cells or tissues involving a reduction in most of the proinflammatory cytokines. Of particular interest is the observation that PEMFs, acting as modulators of adenosine, are able to increase the functionality of the endogenous agonist. By reviewing the scientific literature on joint cells, a double role for PEMFs could be hypothesized in vitro by stimulating cell proliferation, colonization of the scaffold, and production of tissue matrix. Another effect could be obtained in vivo after surgical implantation of the construct by favoring the anabolic activities of the implanted cells and surrounding tissues and protecting the construct from the catabolic effects of the inflammatory status. Moreover, a protective involvement of PEMFs on hypoxia damage in neuron-like cells and an anti-inflammatory effect in microglial cells have suggested the hypothesis of a positive impact of this noninvasive biophysical stimulus.